YouTube is launching Shorts, a short-form video feature for smartphones that looks a lot like TikTok

  • YouTube is rolling out a TikTok competitor called YouTube Shorts that will allow users to create 15-second videos. A beta version is being released in India this week.
  • The move comes as Oracle confirms it has made a deal with Bytedance, TikTok’s China-based parent company, that is designed to keep the popular app in service in the US.
  • The deal would end the Trump administration’s long fight to force TikTok to sever ties to China over national security concerns. 
  • YouTube joins Facebook in launching a TikTok rival — the social network giant launched its Instagram Reels feature in early August.
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Google’s YouTube announced Monday that it is rolling out YouTube Shorts “is a new short-form video experience for creators and artists who want to shoot short, catchy videos using nothing but their mobile phones,” according to a company blog post. 

Shorts videos will be 15 seconds or less and will allow users to use a new, multi-segment camera to stitch multiple clips together as well as the option to record video with music from a selection of songs, similar to how users can create TikTok videos. Shorts has reportedly been in the works for a while, according to an April report from The Information, but Google did not confirm the new feature at the time. 

YouTube did not immediate respond to Business Insider’s request for comment. 

Shorts will get a beta release in India this week for testing. India banned TikTok as well as dozens of other apps owned by China-based firms in June, citing national security concerns.

Shorts’ launch comes just as tech giant Oracle confirmed it has submitted a proposal to be the “trusted technology provider” in the US for TikTok’s parent company, ByteDance. The deal comes after pressure from the Trump administration for TikTok to sever ties to China over national security concerns.

Google’s parent company Alphabet was one of a number of companies reportedly interested in taking stake in TikTok. TikTok currently runs on Google’s cloud-computing software. 

YouTube isn’t the only tech firm that has launched a TikTok rival — Facebook rolled out its own Instagram Reels in early August. The feature allows users to create short-form video content on the social media site. 

Snapchat last month also launched a new feature that allows users to overlay recorded videos with popular songs, similar to how TikTok operates. 

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